That is for fate to decide

Gongbo Liao made accusations against Zilu to Jisun. Zifu Jingbo reported this to Confucius, saying: “My master’s mind is being led astray by Gongbo Liao; but I still have enough power to splay Liao’s corpse open in the market and court.” Confucius said: “Will the Way prevail? That is for fate to decide. Will the Way be cast aside? That is for fate to decide. What does Gongbo Liao matter compared with fate?”

I can only assume that Confucius was supremely confident that Zilu would be found innocent of any accusations made against him by Gongbo Liao (公伯寮), a minister of the state of Lu, with his refusal to intercede on his disciple’s behalf with Ji Kangzi, the head of the powerful Ji family referred to here as Jisun (季孫).

Zifu Jingbo (子服景伯) was also a high-level official in the government of Lu, but was presumably much more influential than Gongbo given his boast that he still had enough power to “splay Liao’s corpse open in the market and court.” Perhaps the severity of this threat deterred Gongbo from further pursuing his accusations against Zilu. At least there are no records of him doing so.

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